Friday, December 26, 2014

"The Days Are Long But The Years Are Short"

Christmas Day officially ended 15 minutes ago.  It was so relaxing and joyful; lots of lounging and eating and laughing with my beloved family...

Though today wasn't your average day, I still ended it the same as every other by sitting down to write for my Happiness Project.  It's an amazing book my dear Margaret gave to me for my 34th birthday this year.  It's a journal that has enough blank space to write a few sentences each day of the year, and has enough spaces to fill it for five years.  I began to capture the day in a few sentences, yet still felt like I was forgetting something... so I stopped writing and thought about what it could be.

I am always aware of TJ's absence, though I feel it heavily less and less.  It's almost bittersweet to not have that weight on days like today.  I truly don't miss it, though.  To be able to really enjoy what was going on during each moment with my favorite people today and not feel pulled to a place where I lamented Christmases past was a huge change.  A gift.  Probably the best one.  And I do think of him all the time.  Anyone who knows me can tell you that I talk about him all the time.  Hell, most people overhearing me would probably not even realize he was gone by the way I speak sometimes.  What has changed is how I think of him.  Each day is brand new and each night I fall asleep counting my blessings and thanking God for more time on this earth.  And as time passes quickly and slowly all at the same time, the way that I think of TJ and how we are together in my life has grown intimate in ways I never could have imagined.

I think of him as my angel.  I think of him as my guide.  I think of him as my protector.  I think that, perhaps, this was his purpose all along.  To be all of these things for me in life and in death.  I think he will be involved in every thing I do until the end of time and that it has already been this way since the beginning of time.  I think that he is there every time someone asks me how I am doing and I am able to look them in the eye, smile, and speak from my heart that I truly am doing well and that I am happy.  It is miraculous.  I tell my patients all the time that emotions are not mutually exclusive; that seemingly opposite emotions can coexist in our minds, bodies, and spirits.  Losing TJ taught me that from the start.  And so I can still love him, miss him, mourn him, and be deeply and genuinely happy about my life all at the same time.  I believe that is what I felt was missing tonight when I filled in my few sentences for December 25th 2014... There is no way to write all of those big feelings in so little a space.

And with that I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and blessed New Year

Monday, October 20, 2014


Ever since TJ died I have lived in my childhood home.  And ever since the dust began to settle I have dreamed of moving out into a home of my own.  Many a time have I been putzing around the house when a pang hits me right in the gut... I think "if TJ were alive I wouldn't have to be here".  And when that thought arises it is not because I can't stand to be here, or that I don't get along with my family.  It's merely a fact that sometimes it's odd to be living here, because living here means TJ is truly gone.

Tonight, I felt differently. 

I sat in the TV room with my dad and my sister, watching Kung Fu Panda, while we waited for my mom to get home from her Monday evening appointments.  Many times that I'm there in the arm chair, I think about what school work needs to be done or some worry I have.  Tonight, my mind was silent enough for me to realize, in that moment, I had nothing to worry about.  I had nothing to do.  All that was required of me was to be present in the moment and enjoy every second of being right where I was.  I love my family so dearly.  They have taken care of me in my darkest hours.  I have the luxury of going to school full time, knowing I have a roof over my head and food to eat.  And that I have people who love me around all the time.  I am so incredibly blessed by them every second, even when they get on my nerves.  I know that there will come a day that we won't all be able to sit around together.  I intend to savor the time I have here in this home, rather than constantly dreaming of the day I can leave and be a "grown up" again.  Because, I realized this night, that I am exactly where I am meant to be.  My home will come when the time is right.  Right now, I am where I belong.

In Chinese culture, it is believed that souls choose who they are born unto before coming into their next life.  Those parents are chosen carefully because they are most able to help the child manifest their destiny.  Not only did I choose the most incredible parents, all of my siblings had the same idea, too...

And so, with that said, to my amazing family: Dad, Mom, Michael, Sean, Olivia, Gina, and Rachel... I love you.  Thank you for always giving me the love and support I need.  You are always in my heart no matter where the wind scatters us in our day to day lives.  I promise to live in such a way as to always show you how loved you are and how grateful I am to be loved by you.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


I've been doing a lot of spiritual work lately and have been asking TJ and my ancestors to help guide me in my journey as a healer.  And the dream I had last night involved the ancestors, just not mine.

I was walking down an alley, towards home, when I saw a big rehearsal happening behind one of the fences.  It was magnificent singing in another language.  I lingered to listen and peek through the fence slats.  After they finished their song they spotted me and got very upset.  They said this concert costs thousands of dollars to attend and I owed them.  I offered them an item of mine (not sure what it was) and then they said they wanted more.  Said they needed a turn table.  I told them I had one of my husbands old turn tables and turned to walk home when I saw a limo pulling up.  The concert people were playing music, kinda like DC go go, with the drum beats.  A whole bunch of old black men started filing out of the limo singing and dancing along to the music.  And then TJ walked from the other side of the limo near the drivers side and joined the other men hip to hip, arm over shoulders, swaying and singing.  When I went to go hug him, he didn't really acknowledge me when I tried to join them.  All of a sudden my friend John was there behind me and he said "aw man, someone should be recording this!"  and I jumped at the chance.  I had to have this on video since I didn't really have anything of TJ like this to remember him by.  I panicked trying to get my phone, afraid they would stop singing and swaying together.  Finally, I was able to record.  I recorded the entire song and when the space to record ran out it became a file I could upload.  When I looked away from the scene of TJ and the men and checked the file on my phone it was a photo of the blank space in the alley rather than the limo and scene I had witnessed.  The photo of the alley had a caption under it already, though I don't know exactly what.  I burst into tears.  I didn't get it.  No one else saw them.  John had been talking about the singers from another country, not the scene I had witnessed with TJ and who I know were his ancestors (Uncle Spud was there, too).  I cried and cried as I looked at this picture of where they would have been and some of the letters began to disappear from the caption.  When the letters stopped disappearing one by one I was left with this

"I   u   miss".  And then I cried even harder.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A Humble Request To My Readers

As some of you may know, I have written a book based on this blog and it is currently in the process of being edited for publishing.  My request to you, dear readers, is this: 

If my writing has inspired you, caused you to reexamine the way life shows up for you, or have been affected positively in some way by my writing (widow, widower, or no) I would be honored to hear about your experience as a reader.  I request, and invite you, to share with me your thoughts about my blog and how it has played a part in your own personal journey through life.

If you are inclined to accept this request, please send all comments and correspondence about your experiences to:

At the discretion of my editor, some comments may be selected to be published as testimonials for the body of work that is my blog.  If your submission is selected, you will be contacted and your permission will be requested to include your comments in the publication of my book.

As always, it is with immense gratitude that I thank you for your support.  I feel your presence and I continue to be moved.

Be well, my loves. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Patience is a Virtue, Right?

Things are really happening.  I'm seeing patients in our school clinic, I'm wrapping up my second year of my masters degree, I finally had the courage, love and self respect to post a picture of myself (on the internet!) in a bikini... so many amazing things.  And yet I still feel like things could be better if I had a boyfriend.

And then, when I think that, when I say that I get so frustrated with myself.  Why can't all of these other exciting things be enough?  And it's not because I need a man.  It's because I want a man.  I want to share all of this awesomeness intimately with someone.  It would make everything else that much sweeter (I think?)  Ugh.

I know I need to live in the moment.  I do.  And I also believe deep down that I am personally hard-wired to share.  To me it makes things worth doing.  I have taken a hard look at my self.  I have gone down to my depths; have looked into nothing and created something.  I have faced my demons and made peace with them (we're totally friends now).  I am following my wildest dreams and I am flourishing.  (I mean, I bought myself a fucking bikini!  How much more free can I get?)  I am embracing myself and I continue to work hard to be a positive force in the world.

So the big question now is...

What is God, The Universe, whatever waiting for?  I feel ready, so what gives?  I've never been a patient woman.  I'd better start practicing.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

When Flowers Bloom

So Does Faith...

At least that's what my coffee mug says this morning.  I rarely drink coffee and when I do it's decaf.  I've always enjoyed the taste of coffee... I've never really consumed it for the caffeine boost.  TJ loved coffee.  Knowing what I know now about the body, I know he needed it to function because of his complete tapping out of resources and qi.  It makes me a little bit sad to make that connection now instead of just being able to reminisce about how the house would smell when he'd brew an entire 12 cup pot for himself, how thick and black his coffee would be and how he'd always stir it counter clockwise.

I woke up this morning with the notion that I'd like to partake in a cup, just a small one so I didn't get the caffeine crazies.  I pulled out my smallest mug and filled it 3/4 of the way up, added my sugar and cream, stirred it counter-clockwise (I've gotten myself in that habit on purpose over the years) and went to sit.  When I indulge in things I don't normally do, I make sure to sit still and do nothing else but that one thing.  As I had the first sip it tasted so warm and a little bit bitter.  My first thought was to add more sugar and then I let that idea go... TJ mostly drank his black and loved the bitter taste of coffee.  As I focused my attention on the taste of bitterness and how it felt in my body as I drank, I started crying.  Isn't it mysterious that the act of sipping coffee can bring on such grief?

Holding the mug with both hands, I sat there and cried.  I held that little cup so firmly, like it was the only anchor I had to keep me from rocketing off into some other place.  Sometimes I simply cannot believe that TJ died.  There are no other thoughts, just emptiness.  And yet, I'm so glad I poured that cup.  When I bring TJ into my life through something, an object, an activity, that something is blessed.  And so, this morning, I had the best cup of coffee I've ever had.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Full Moon -Eclipse- Blood Moon

I had pondered whether or not to wake up to watch the lunar eclipse last night; it was expected to peak around 3am.  This morning I knew why I had chosen to sleep through the night.

A profound dream message came to me.

TJ had come back from the dead.  He looked the same as he always did, yet he had his short dreadlocks again.  We were all so overjoyed with his return.  We decided to move in together and happened to get our very first apartment back.  As we moved all of our things from my parents house into our apartment, I told him all about what I've been doing since he'd been gone.  I told him about my cats and how my parents would keep them since we couldn't bring them to live with us because of his allergies.  As night fell, we'd magically unpacked and settled everything in their right place.  It looked so lovely and cozy as I took stock.  As I turned and saw TJ laying in our bed I wanted to cry with joy.  I crawled in next to him and said "I can't believe we're together again and you're next to me".  I leaned in and kissed his cheek.  He began telling be about the changes he was going to make now that he was back and told me about his sensitivities while sleeping.  He talked about the medications that would help change him physically so he felt more comfort.  As he spoke, I got up and paused when I got to our bedroom doorway.  I looked down our hall to the front door and felt a pang of sadness.  The only thought that entered my mind was "this isn't going to work".  The next day I went over to my parents house to visit with my mom and the kitties.  I told her that I was glad TJ was back, that I loved him deeply and fiercely, and yet I didn't think I could be with him anymore.  I told her that we would have to divorce.  Suddenly having him back felt wrong, something didn't fit.  And it wasn't a selfish feeling.  It wasn't that he didn't fit in to my plans, it was that he really wasn't supposed to be in my life in that way.  I told her I knew that he would understand when I explained things to him.  I knew he would love me and support me in my decision.  I remember feeling so worried about his parents reaction to me divorcing him now that he had just returned.  How angry they might be and how they would probably never speak to me again.  That thought was crushing and yet wasn't enough to sway me.  I knew, deep down in my bones, that leaving him was the right decision.  Staying with him, even in this new way with my new life, was going backward.  I left my parents house with clarity and resolve, and with love and kindness in my heart for my beloved.  This is how it must be.

As I began to wake, the profundity of the dream began to form and the number 13 began to swirl around in my consciousness.  I saw images of the number in my half awake, half asleep state and thought the number over and over again.  When I was fully awake I wrote everything I could remember in my dream journal on my bedside table.  I also made notes about the number 13 and the full moon/eclipse/blood moon that occurred as I dreamed.

I began researching numerology on the internet and looked into the meanings of the number 13.  My findings were incredibly relevant to what I believe the dream was telling me...
Number 13 is the number of upheaval, so that new ground can be broken. The number 13 has great power.

The number 13 brings the test, the suffering and the death. It symbolizes the death to the matter or to oneself and the birth to the spirit: the passage on a higher level of existence.

I found this site to be the most interesting. (Thanks, Emma!)  I noticed that most other sites break down the number 13 into 1 and 3.  And then add them to get the number 4.  By combining what I read on this site with the break-down of the number 13 what I get is this:


I know this dream was a message to me about the changes that have begun.  I could feel something brewing and now I know my gut was right.  I am sure and firm in my life's path and will do anything to achieve my goals.  Not only that, I am making peace with TJ's death in such an unfathomable way.  I cried for joy as I told my mom about the dream.  I said to her "I'm crying because I never thought I could let him go.  It feels so good to know that he's really not supposed to be here; that it's right for him to not be here with me and to know that if he were here, I would be going backwards".  The dream reminded me that what I am doing is important, that I am following my Tao, and that TJ loves and supports me.  The fact that, in the dream, I was so sure that he would understand why I had to leave him tells me that.

My dreams are always important to me.  I catalogue them and try to interpret them when I feel there is a message for me.  This dream is unlike any others.  The message is so crystal clear, there is nothing to figure.   It's been said that ancient Native American tribes believed women were able to receive messages and premonitions from the heavens during a full moon.  That the veil between our world and the spirit world is thin during that time because women are governed by the lunar cycle.  Any dreams during that time should be taken as truth and all of the wise men of the tribe would heed the speakings of what each woman gleaned. 

I truly believe that this was a message from the heavens.  That the full moon, the eclipse, and the blood moon brought me something I had previously been unable to comprehend.  I know that peace has come to my soul.  My foundation is solid, my path is clear, my heart is sure, and I am unleashed.

Monday, March 31, 2014


Sometimes I wonder what it will be like to truly love another man.  I know I couldn't possibly love anyone the same way that I love TJ, and I wouldn't want to.  I would want my new love to be just that, new and only for this man.  It's hard to imagine loving someone else, though I guess only because it hasn't happened yet.  And, in this season, it's something I am even more curious about.

It's finally behaving like springtime outside.  I went for a walk in the park across from my house and there were beautiful humans everywhere.  Dad's with their kids, girlfriends walking and talking, couples holding hands and walking their dogs.  There were skateboarding teens (overheard as I passed "how the fuck did I get a hole in the top of my shoe?"), men my age playing frisbee.  A man passed me twice and both times he was loudly on a business call about tech-sounding matters.  Life is truly buzzing and everything is really busting out.  The trees, the grass, the colors!  Oh, the colors.  Such green grass.

In Chinese medicine, the spring time is associated with growth and possibility.  We use the time of silence and introspection of winter to create power and ability (and Lord knows we all had plenty of time for that over this long winter).  This time enables us to spring forth, if you will, when the seasons change.  I am seeing my mother nature show me how I should be living.  I am feeling that urge to upward movement.  Lately it has manifested in such a powerful feeling of new beginnings.

I know I've talked about this many times before... and for some reason I feel like this spring really may bring with it some romance for me.  And I have had an undeniable feeling all day.  The words that keep echoing in my mind are "your life is actually starting right now".  As if the past three years have been in preparation for what is beginning today.  And that makes perfect sense.  Mental preparation is now evolving into action.  I've passed all of my exams that will allow me to begin clinic.  This morning I made my appointments for pre-clinic partnerings that must be done in order to treat my own patients this May.  As I added the dates and times to my calendar I felt in my body an enormous stirring.  It shook and rattled deep down into my bones.  This is all really happening now.  Everything has lead me to this very moment in time.  Its a vibration unlike any other I have felt.  In the past I have called moments like this "big shifts in consciousness".  That was before I knew my own energetic body and what it was telling me.  And this moment feels unlike any of the other shifts I've experienced.  It's as if all of those other evolutions were small potatoes compared to what I'm sensing now.  The practices of finding my center and being grounded; the dedication of exploring who I am and then, through that exploration, coming to know myself as a worthy and powerful woman is solidifying together in the most magnificent way.  It is going to take me places and allow me experiences I can't even begin to imagine yet. 

Although this movement brings with it questions of love and romance, I know there is so much more.  Patience has not ever been one of my virtues and yet I am so in awe of this new blooming inside of me that I know good things will come.  And all in the right time and space.  I am ready.  I am open.  I am Yes.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Here We Are Again

Mother Nature has done a wonderful job today to ensure that I rested.  I think we ended up with 6-8" of snow...

Last night I couldn't sleep.  I kept waking up to look at the clock.  3:16am, I was still sleeping next to TJ.  5:20am, I was still sleeping next to TJ and it was coming.  5:48am, still sleeping next to TJ and it was coming.  6:20am, we weren't sleeping anymore and he was dying.  7:35am, I was sleeping this time.  The past two years I woke up right at 7:32am naturally, my body knowing that at 7:35am on March 3rd is when the world would change.  This year I slept through it.  I had anticipated it all night with my tossing and turning.  I don't remember my dreams.  I probably didn't have any. 

For most of the day my tears came from the outpouring of love I was receiving from my beloveds.  My tears of grief came later.  They started while I was in the shower around 4 o'clock.  I was fine until I stepped under the unusually hot water and let it soak my hair.  The water felt so good that I bowed my head and let my hands rest on my shoulders.  All of a sudden the memory of standing in this exact same posture came back to me.  It happened three years ago today after I'd returned from the hospital.  Standing under the spray in utter shock.  I cried today like I cried three years ago.  I had to lean my shoulder into the shower wall and place my hand out to keep me upright.  I remembered throwing TJ's toothbrush away as soon as I got out of our shower.

Night time is still the hardest.  So much has changed in three years yet there are so many things that haven't.  I am used to sleeping alone now.  I wasn't sure if that would ever have happened.  I still talk to TJ and ask him questions.  I wonder if I'll ever have answers to any of them?

To round out this day I am sitting here writing with Hank Williams Jr keeping me company.  Hank and Wild Turkey 101.  I raised my glass and looked to the sky to toast my husband.  To the man who made me whole.  I want to continue to live a life that I know he would be proud of.  Tonight, I asked him to continue to help me live authentically so I can truly be the best me.  I asked him to continue to guide me as I go further into my journey of becoming a healer.  I told him how much passion I felt for this medicine; that this is what I must do to be fulfilled.  I told him that I missed him so much.  I told him that I love him.  I asked him if he saw me in the hospital those years ago, touching his face, whispering in his ear... I hope he did.  I hope he still does.

TJ, my baby, I love you.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Love Soup

Three years ago today, on what would be our last Valentine's Day together, TJ made us borscht.  It was practically overflowing a lobster sized pot.  We ate on it for days and froze two containers that were left over once we'd had more than enough.  On the day that he died, my friends who brought me home from the hospital cleaned out my refrigerator, transferred the soup to our freezer and put our clean dishes away.  A few days later, we packed the perishables and thus the two containers of soup were transferred to my parents house.

The first Valentine's day without TJ I was house sitting for dear friends in Oregon.  The second Valentine's day without TJ I had classes.  This year, on this snow day, I had the luxury of being still and reflecting on what celebrating Valentine's day with TJ used to be like.  So many Valentine's day celebrations together.  Earrings, rings, cupcakes, roses, cards and pink soup... we always so enjoyed celebrating our love on a day dedicated to Love.  Our last one together was spent eating the borscht that TJ had lovingly prepared.  We watched Evil Dead 2 (how romantic) and snuggled on the couch.  He gave me a beautiful card and I'd bought him flowers.

This morning I remembered the soup.  I'd remembered it last year and forgot to thaw it out.  I didn't even know then that I was never really planning to take it out of the freezer.  I couldn't.  I didn't think I could today, either.  I'd texted a friend about it, and then posted a note on facebook.  I was trying to have other people convince me not to eat it.  Mostly because I didn't think I could even look at the containers.  Instead, I put on the jewelry he'd given me on past Valentine's dates.  One year, I had begged for this one ring.  I'd showed him the mystic fire topaz stone and not so subtly hinted.  At the time we were both living with room mates so I rented a hotel room for us across from the movie theater.  I checked in and got the table set with the Italian takeout I had picked up for us.  When he arrived, he held this HUGE white box.  He was grinning from ear to ear and handed it to me.  It must have weighed 20lbs and I couldn't imagine what was in it.  And I knew from the size and weight that it couldn't possibly be the ring I'd begged for.  I thought I concealed my confusion well, and later I would find out that I hadn't.  When I opened the box there was so much tissue paper.  Once I'd been able to dig through to the bottom, TJ's free weights (20lbs of them) were taped to the bottom of the box.  And sitting in the middle of the weights was a tiny green box.  I opened it to find the most beautiful mystic topaz ring.  The shock on my face must have been clearly visible because TJ laughed uncontrollably.  This morning, I put it on.  And after receiving wisdom from a dear friend, I dug the frozen soup containers out of the freezer.

I let one thaw a bit and then put it on the stove to heat.  Soon, the smell began to waft from the pot as it warmed.  I have only had this soup once in my life and yet the smell was incredibly familiar to me.  As if I were still in my old kitchen, watching him stir the pot.  I served it up in a beautiful bowl, said a little prayer, and excused myself to sit privately in my mom's office.

I settled in on her sofa and looked up, taking in the yellowed sunlight streaming through the sheer window panels.  I started to cry as I looked down into the bowl I held in my hands.  It was so warm, the smell so inviting.  I could not believe that, right in front of me, after three years of missing him, there was something I could take into my body that was made my his hands.  He'd never made it before.  I remember he couldn't stop talking about the color, how vibrant it was.  I held the first spoonful up to my lips and blew gently to cool it down.  I took several centering breaths before I experienced the first taste.  The flavor was better than I remembered.  I closed my eyes and allowed the liquid and soft pieces of beets, potato, and beef mingle in my mouth.  I savored the tastes and textures, and the love that went into making this dish for me.  With each bite I did this.  I ate it so slowly, pausing between each spoonful to experience the gratitude I felt in having this gift.  I added nothing to this soup.  No salt, no spices.  I wanted to experience it exactly as prepared by TJ.  A teardrop did fall into the bowl, a fitting sacrifice.  The tears are coming swiftly still as I write this.  I find it hard to believe that I had the gift of nourishing my body today, with his love, after all these years apart.

The exact words of wisdom shared with me were "Eat it, or at least a little.  It is blessed, it won't make you sick."  Her words have echoed inside me since I read them.  It is blessed.  I am blessed by it.  In partaking of this meal I feel anointed by his hands and by his love.  Happy Valentine's Day, TJ.  I love you so much.